An API a Day

API concept

I’ve been working with REST APIs for about 8 years either as a consumer or as an API publisher. My current employer, FamilySearch, has a pretty extensive API that is used by many companies. This year, we are really focusing on how to improve the developer experience so that developers can more easily grok what we offer and can quickly and easily build an app that takes advantage of the powerful features of our API. Currently, there are many barriers that are preventing developers from being successful early.

Part of what we are focusing this year is on documentation and tools. My hypothesis is that if we offer really great SDKs with accompanying documentation and sample code, that developers will be able to consume the API much more quickly and will have a pleasant developer experience.

I’m constantly looking for other companies that offer great developer experiences and evaluating the success factors that create a great developer experience. This is the beginning of a journey that I plan to document in looking at many developer offerings. I’ll call this series “An API a Day” even though I fully understand that I can’t possibly analyze an API every day.

Here are some of the developer platforms I plan to analyze:

  • Dropbox
  • Twilio
  • Box
  • Evernote
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Stripe

This list will grow in time. My first stop will be Dropbox.

What other companies should I add to the list?